Irish craft frame builder FiftyOne Bikes has teamed up with ENVE Composites to launch a custom-built gravel bike commemorating a famous telegram Alphonse Steinès sent to Tour de France originator Henri Desgrange in 1910: “Crossed Tourmalet. Very good road. Perfectly feasible.”
This line is printed on the top-tube of the limited edition ‘Steinès’ bike from the Dublin-based builder. It’s famous because of the travails Steinès went through on his route research, and the fact that year’s winner called the route designers "assassins" for taking riders on the narrow gravel road over the Tourmalet pass.
FiftyOne’s Steinès bike is equipped with ENVE’s new G-Series gravel wheels and will be built in accordance to the rider’s specifications whilst allowing adequate clearance for a 52-tooth chainring and 42mm tyres.
Alphonse Steinès was assistant organiser of the Tour de France and wanted to make the 1910 Tour – founded seven years previously – harder than ever. During a reconnaissance mission to the Tourmalet – the highest pass in the Pyrenees – he was met with bad weather and was forced to abandon his car and continue on foot. He became lost and became trapped in a snow drift. Close to death, he was rescued by a search party in the early hours of the following morning. With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Steinès telegrammed Desgrange: “Crossed Tourmalet. Very good road. Perfectly feasible.”
Octave Lapize, the eventual Tour winner in the summer of that year, shouted at officials when he reached the top of the Tourmalet: “You are assassins!”
FiftyOne will make only 10 Steinès frames, one of which will be on the ENVE booth at Eurobike which starts on Monday. The Tour de France starts on Saturday.
This bike is the second collaboration between FiftyOne bikes and ENVE composites – the first was the marque’s ENVE10.